Home as Self
June 2, 2022 – August 28, 2022
In 1994, the Annual Juried Woodworking Exhibition at the Wharton Esherick Museum began as an opportunity to encourage new, creative and imaginative works in wood. Encouraged to think like Esherick, over the years professional woodworkers, artists, designers, hobbyists, and craftspeople have submitted hundreds of pieces reflecting each year’s theme.
For the 28th year of the exhibition, WEM invited applicants to share innovative works of art, craft, and design that represent a self-portrait. Each submission had to include wood in some way, but could take a different approach to what it means to make a self-portrait, just as Esherick’s “self-portraits” took on many diverse forms. The finalists for Home as Self were selected by jurors Fabio J. Fernández and Keunho Peter Park, along with Emily Zilber, WEM’s Director of Curatorial Affairs and Strategic Partnerships.
Home as Self explores the meaning, creation and form of self-portraiture. Wharton Esherick’s remarkable home and studio is perhaps the most complete self-portrait that exists of this iconoclastic artist. Esherick painted and drew more traditional self-portraits at various points in his career, including his 1919 depiction that hangs at WEM.The Studio writ large may show us more than any of these representational images about how Esherick saw himself and his life. He designed (and redesigned) this space for living life as his truest self. As the Wharton Esherick Museum celebrates its 50th Anniversary, we’re reflecting on how we’ve shared and interpreted Esherick’s remarkable self-portrait for thousands of people over half a century. For the juried exhibition this year, we invited artists to share innovative works of art, craft, and design that represent a self-portrait.